Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has warned chiefs in Wajir against purporting to mediate in rape cases.
He told the lot that settlement of such abuses ostensibly on cultural grounds must cease with immediate effect or they face the sack.
“We will sack and arrest you immediately. There is no mediation in such cases,” Matiang’i said when he addressed the county’s security officers on Tuesday.
Matiang’i said the chiefs should neither condone such acts nor sweep them under the carpet without thorough investigations.
“Tuwachane na haya maneno. We are hurting our children in the process. It is primitive to treat our daughters like that.. then you go and meet somewhere and make deals,” he said.
Noting that rape is a crime, Matiang’i said there will be no negotiation on the matter adding that: “Let our children go to school and allow them to grow.”
“Hatuwezi kubali maneno kama haya (We cannot accept such things). We will not negotiate and you need to understand and know,” he said.
“This nonsense must come to an end.. wewe ukifika mwaka ya kuoa si uzungumze na hawa wazee utafuta mahari vizuri so that you have you wife in the right manner.”
(If you reach the age of maturity and is ready to marry, why not talk to elders to organise a proper union for you)
The CS was reacting to reports that government officials, including county commanders, chiefs and communal leaders have proposed the use of the mechanism to solve the rising cases of rape.
Matiang’i remarks followed after a suspect accused of being part of the gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl in Wajir was detained pending investigations.
Mohamed Salah and two others are accused of committing the offence in Habaswein last week. He denied the charges before Wajir chief magistrate Amos Muroka.
Salah is alleged to have picked the minor, a Form One student, from school. He had disguised himself as a Good Samaritan who was offering a lift.
Cases of rape and defilement have been on the rise in Wajir since last year.
A six-year-old girl underwent re-constructive surgery at Nairobi Women’s Hospital after she was raped by her uncle last year.
‘Al Shabaab threats’
Matiang’i is also expected to assess incidents of insecurity occasioned by al Shabaab threats.
Together with senior police officers, they are expected to tour the area where more than 400 teachers who are non-locals have escaped.
Terror attacks in the area have been on the rise for the past months with almost a dozen communication masts have been destroyed.
The attackers also destroyed Ijara police station.
The latest incident happened when three teachers were killed two weeks ago in an attack by al Shabaab terrorists. Those killed were non-locals.
Statistics show more than half of the teachers in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa are non-locals.
And following the incident, the Teachers Service Commission has transferred all non-locals from the area over the incident.
This follows and al Shabaab attack on Qarsa Primary School on February 16, which resulted in the death of two teachers and the wife of one of the teachers.